This small but pretty little bug is a Two-Lined Spittlebug (Prosapia bicincta). They are approximately 3/8 of in inch long and somewhat thick bodied. They are black with two orangish-yellow stripes and red eyes. There is a mark right behind the thorax that is very heart-like in shape.They are very common in meadows, and other grassy areas throughout the Eastern United States. Usually you will see the signs of the nymphs much more often than you will see the adults.
Just look for the spit!
Females lay eggs in the fall that overwinter. In the spring the eggs hatch and the young nymphs begin feeding. As nymphs they hide out in this foamy, spit-like substance that is attached to various plant stems. They will feed on the juices from the plant all tucked away safe and sound inside this very unique camo. There seems to be some debate as to what purpose the spit has.....some feel it may keep the nymph from drying out or desiccating. It may also be a form of protection from enemies that may want to feed on them.
The adults feed on holly predominantly. Ornamental plants and turf grasses can be harmed by the feeding habits of the nymphs and the adults. This usually will not happen if plants or grasses are healthy. Should a large infestation occur then measures may be needed to remove them from your yard. I have hundreds of these little guys around our farm, I rarely see much damage because of them.
For me these globs of spit on the plants is a sure sign that summer is in full swing. Starting in about late May or early June they are everywhere. There is no end to the wonderful, unique and crazy ways that insects can protect themselves or hide away from predators. Spit, in my opinion , ranks right up there at the top.